Speaking of dearly departed shopping malls, I have very fond memories of the Twin City Mall that once existed in North Palm Beach, Florida. It had a few department stores, including Sears and one called Jeffersons. I still remember strolling through Jeffersons one day and seeing an Intellivision video game system for sale. It was hooked up to a TV, ready for someone to try out. Of course, I gave it a try and had a blast. Sears also was selling video game cartridges for the Atari home video game system that was a top selling item back then.
I still remember some of the stores at the Twin City Mall, such as one called Musicsmith. They sold cassettes, LP’s and 45’s, but no compact discs as those had not been invented yet. There was another store called Booksmith that sold books.
Oh, how could I dare forget drooling to the irresistible smell of freshly made caramel popcorn from Karmelcorn? That was always the highlight of my trip to the mall.
And of course, there was the arcade. I always had fun feeding my quarters to the video games there. One game I enjoyed playing was Star Wars, which didn’t have the sophisticated graphics as today’s games do. On the contrary, it used very simple vector graphics, but still, it was fun blowing up the Death Star again and again.
Sinistar was another game I loved to play. It was the one where your ship had to collect crystals needed to defeat a giant floating robotic head that was threatening the galaxy. I still remember those haunting words from the game’s onboard speech synthesizer: “Beware, I live!” Those games might be classics today but back then they were as good as video games got.
My most haunting and touching memory of the Twin City Mall was during holiday season when my mother took me there for some shopping. As we were walking around the mall, we passed the Talking Christmas Tree, which was the most magical thing I’ve ever seen in my life. In fact, I still get chills up my spine thinking about it. I remember standing there, speechless, in front of this huge, beautifully decorated tree, even after it said hello to me.
For years, even after it closed, the Twin City Mall continued to stand, completely abandoned and empty, doing nothing but creating a huge eyesore for the city. I don’t know exactly why the city waited so long to demolish the mall, but I think there was some debate going on about how to dispose of the pieces. I think that’s the story but I’m not sure. Anyhow, the mall was finally demolished to make way for a thriving shopping center that stands in its spot today.
I really had fun going back and reliving my vivid memories for this blog. I have other memories I will share in future posts.